Baby food while teething

Feeding and teething: how to help them with the pain | Baby & toddler articles & support

Your child might have just started weaning when teething creates a stumbling block. Here we see how teething can affect eating, and how to get through it.

One symptom connected with teething is a decreased appetite for solid foods (Macknin et al, 2000; Lyttle et al, 2015; Eisenstadt et al, 2017). And guess what? You’re likely to start weaning your little one around the six-month mark – the exact same time many babies cut their first teeth (eyes roll again) (Lyttle et al, 2015).

So why do they start fussing all of a sudden? It will come as no surprise that teething causes a lot of discomfort (Eisenstadt et al, 2017).

Where’s my baby’s appetite gone?

Just like us adults can go off our foods when we’re feeling under the weather, so can our little ones. The gums swell and are tender to touch just before a tooth breaks through (Ashley, 2001). So anything in your little one’s mouth could cause more pain.

That said, not all babies lose their appetite when teething. Like with everything else, they’re all different. In fact, the science shows only around one third of teething babies lose their appetite (Macknin et al, 2000).

When will my baby’s teething affect their appetite?

Interestingly, some studies show children lose their appetite with teething only when their canines come through, not when their incisors or molars emerge (Memarpour et al, 2015). Generally, these canines – the pointy ones either side of the front four – appear when your little one is 16 to 22 months old (NHS Choices, 2016a; NHS Devon, 2018).

We know from parents we speak to that many encounter food fussiness earlier than the 16 to 22 month mark. So our practical tips can apply whatever your baby’s age over six months, when weaning starts (NHS Choices, 2018). This guide shows you what to do if your baby is struggling to juggle tooth pain and munching.

Which foods are best when they are teething?

If your baby goes on a feeding strike as they start to cut some teeth, the following should help. It is a case of trial and error here, there’s no right answer. Experiment and see what they seem most comfortable with the following types of foods.

1. Soft foods

Much like us adults might eat nothing but soup after a painful procedure at the dentists, babies might just want to stick with soft foods and purees. Anything they can slurp from a spoon with minimal contact with their gums. A fruit or vegetable puree, or a soft risotto or macaroni cheese (blitzed or slightly overcooked for minimal chewing) could be just the comfort food they need right now.

2. Cool foods

Chilled foods can take the heat out of those burning gums (Ashley, 2001). Yogurt is an easy option here. A ready-made pouch popped in the fridge. Or try some fruit or veg straight from the fridge such as cucumber sticks, a whole strawberry or avocado mushed up.

Just remember foods containing meat, or prepared in advance will need reheating for food hygiene reasons so might not be suitable (NHS Choices, 2015). And make sure you stay with them while they’re eating to watch out for choking.

3. Hard foods

To chew and bite down on have been proven to provide relief in around half of teething babies. Why? Their firmness provides counterpressure to a rising tooth (Memarpour et al, 2015).

Try carrot sticks, whole green beans or sugar snap peas, sliced pepper, breadsticks or bread crusts for babies over six months (Ashley, 2001). As above, just ensure you are on watch to avoid them choking on the chunkier items.

Avoid rusks, because nearly all brands contain some sugar. And sugar can cause tooth decay, even if your child only has a few small teeth (NHS, 2016b). You can read more about how to ease their pain with hard foods and teether toys here.

Does it matter if they are not eating as much as usual?

Try not to worry if not much is going in at any one mealtime. If they are still drinking their usual milk, they’ll be getting nutrients from that. That said, if their hunger strike seems to last more than a few days and you’re worried, see your GP or health visitor.

Try to keep them hydrated. While some babies want to suck and therefore breast or bottle-feed more during a bout of teething (Macknin et al, 2000), others go off the idea. If they are refusing milk or drinking less than usual, try to get them to sip some water, or add milk to their purees. Some parents we speak to also make breast or formula milk lollipops to get milk into their little ones, and soothe their gums at the same time. Win, win.

If they are chewing down on everything, including their bottle teat, try a teether toy instead, which might be more sturdy. If your baby is chewing down on your nipple (hideous), then read our article on feeding and biting.

When will the fussing end?

Your baby will probably have a reduced appetite for solids for the five days ahead of a tooth peeping through, the day it surfaces and for three days afterwards (Macknin et al, 2000). So in general, your baby should be more into their food again in just over a week. That is, unless another tooth is on its way (. guessed it, another eye roll).

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

You might find attending one of NCT's Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.

For guidance on how to look after those teeth once they appear (and what foods and drinks they should avoid) read our article on brushing baby’s teethand why teeth hygiene is important for babies.

NCT has partnered with the British Red Cross to offer courses in baby first aid.

What Foods to Give as My Child Is Teething? | Healthy Eating

By Alicia Bodine Updated December 06, 2018

According to the American Dental Association, you can expect your baby's first teeth to erupt between 6 months and 1 year, with the full set of 20 primary teeth showing up by age 3. As the teeth make their way through the gums, your little one may experience soreness that leaves him irritable. Fortunately, in addition to teething rings, there are a few foods you can give your child that will help soothe the tender gums and relieve pain.

Teething Biscuits

In addition to relieving gum pain, chewing on teething biscuits is also a yummy snack for most babies. The biscuits can be cracker- or cookie-like and are designed to break up and dissolve easily to reduce choking risks. Of course, parents should still keep a close eye on their children as they munch on these crumbly foods.

The treat is available for purchase in grocery stores, but parents can make their own by blending 2 cups of oat flour, 1 ripe banana and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Mold the dough into cookie or stick shapes and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes per side.

Hard Vegetables

Carrots, cucumbers, celery sticks and other hard vegetables that have been chilled in the refrigerator feel good against aching gums as your baby gnaws on them. It's important that the carrots and cucumbers be peeled first and that parents watch their toddlers closely in case a piece of the vegetable breaks off.

Popsicles or Fruit Slushies

Ice is excellent for numbing areas of our body that are in pain, so it makes sense that frozen ice in the form of popsicles and fruit slushies would give a baby relief from sore gums. You can also purchase popsicles and fruit slushies from your local grocery store or make your own at home.

Simply place your baby's favorite fruits in the freezer. Once they've frozen, toss them in the blender so they become fruit slushies that can be spoon-fed. If you'd rather make popsicles, blend fresh fruits with a little water and then pour the mixture into popsicle molds. Place in the freezer and use once frozen.

Applesauce, Yogurt and Pudding

Some babies prefer the texture of soft foods. In this case, you'll want to offer chilled applesauce, yogurt or pudding during snack time. The creamy foods won't irritate the already painful gums, and the cold temperature of the snacks will soothe the area. Pouring the applesauce, yogurt or pudding into a popsicle mold and serving it that way also works.

  • KidsHealth: Teething Tots
  • Teething: Tips for Soothing Sore Gums
  • BabyCenter: Teething: Your Baby's First Teeth
  • Super Healthy Kids: Healthy Homemade Teething Biscuits
  • Mom Tricks: 27 Must-Know Tips to Quickly Soothe a Teething Baby
Writer Bio

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer specializing in health and nutrition. With more than 13 years of experience, her work has appeared in sites like Livestrong and eHow Food & Drink. She has also served as the Healthy Foods editor at BellaOnline.

How to feed a child during teething? – Kid's Republic Blog

Parents sometimes notice that their beloved child suddenly refuses the usual food, cries, is naughty. The reason for this behavior may be painful teething. How to feed a child during this difficult period, how to find out that his teeth have begun to appear and that they cause discomfort?

How can you tell if a child is teething?

The central teeth appear first in children. Usually they can be boasted as early as 6 months. But individual symptoms will be noticeable much earlier, two months before the onset of an important event. Most babies experience discomfort 3-4 days before teething. They completely disappear on the 4th day after the tooth comes out. By what signs can teething be recognized in order to organize the proper nutrition of the baby?

  • the child becomes very moody. He refuses to play his favorite games and often cries, even when he is in his mother's arms;
  • produces much more saliva - so be sure to stock up on a change of bibs;
  • the baby can bite. To quickly alleviate this condition, let him gnaw on a special ring;
  • your face or cheeks become red, like after a long run;
  • the temperature may rise;
  • disturbed sleep pattern;
  • no appetite.

The exit of the first teeth is always the most painful. Therefore, it is so important to initially learn how to make the right children's menu for every day, which the baby can eat completely.

Proper nutrition for a baby with toothache

How to help a baby with no appetite due to pain? To make food enjoyable, use the following tips:

  1. never force you to finish what is left on your plate or bottle;
  2. always prefer liquid meals that are easier to swallow. During this difficult period, ready-made organic fruit and vegetable purees produced by the French brand Good Gout will help you. They contain 99.9% natural, the most useful products for children. Soft, delicious puree of pumpkin, apples, pears, strawberries, mangoes, bananas with a drop of lemon juice will appeal to any picky eater. Ready-made liquid cereals from cereals "Strawberry Muesli", "Oats, Wheat, Rice" and other ingredients contain only organic flour, vitamins and nothing else;
  3. products are best served chilled. In this form, they will play the role of a light pain reliever. Invite your child to chew vegetable or fruit sticks from carrots, bananas, cucumbers;
  4. to create comfortable conditions, try to cook only your favorite dishes.

Diet for older children

The process of teething takes a long time, it usually ends by the age of three. What foods to choose for children from 1 to 3 years old if they are teething? Good Gout suggests using organic biscuit sets specially made to provide some relief from the pain of new teeth. Small squares with an incredible taste of mango, banana or coconut will become your fidgets' favorite dishes.

Assortment of children's eco products Good Gout. extremely large. Today, a child can try pasta with eggplant, tomatoes and cream, mini baguettes with cheese, rosemary and tomatoes, and tomorrow invite him to chew on delicious pea sticks or three types of crispy rice cakes with apple, carrot, blueberry. Organic nut, banana, almond, and round vanilla or oval cocoa cookies will help relieve itchy gums and help make chewing less painful.

The listed products are recommended to be included in the diet of the child and in the usual period. Fruits, vegetables, cereals and other ingredients included in their composition are not chemically processed, do not contain harmful substances, heavy metals and GMOs. All products, certified according to high European safety standards, are packed in convenient, securely closed bags made from safe, environmentally friendly materials. You can take them with you on a daily walk and on a long trip.

Good Gout organic nutrition is a correct, varied diet that strengthens the child's immunity and is beneficial for his health.

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How and what to feed a baby when teeth are being cut

— Anastasia Anatolyevna, when do babies start teething, how long does teething last?

- Babies can "boast" about their first central incisors at about six months. However, the first symptoms of teething in infants may appear as early as a couple of months before the tooth looks out. And it is desirable to see the beginning of the process in time to help the baby survive the pain. In most babies, discomfort symptoms are detected three to four days before teething and usually disappear on the fourth day after the tooth comes out.

Clear signs of teething in an infant:

  • increased salivation, rash on face and chest from constant wetting;
  • swelling of the gums, their increased sensitivity to sucking;
  • the little one is irritable and whiny, naughty, does not perceive the breast / bottle;
  • the baby gnaws, bites objects, trying to relieve soreness in the mouth;
  • the baby's sleep is disturbed, night wakefulness appears.

- Toothache is often mistaken for a cold or an allergy. How to distinguish one state from another?

— Tooth growth is a physiological stage, and, as a rule, it does not have negative consequences for the health of the child, despite frequent crying, fever, and excessive anxiety. Children's ailments can be differentiated based on knowledge of their characteristic features.

Table. How to understand that a baby is teething

— Parents are often concerned that their children are not eating enough. Are baby's first teeth and weight gain related?

- Poor appetite is an alarming symptom that occurs against the background of teeth moving and pressure on aching gums during feeding. The baby does not attach well to the breast, pushes out the nipple and receives less nutrition, which leads to a suspension in weight gain. It is better to just temporarily switch to a free diet, but do not force feed the baby.

An infant's poor appetite may be accompanied by the following behavioral changes:

  • complete or partial rejection of the breast/bottle;
  • constant whims while feeding with writhing of the body;
  • increased desire to take something in the mouth, followed by refusal to eat due to increased discomfort and itching in the gums;
  • loss of interest in solid foods, especially in children on a mixed diet.

— And if the child often refuses to suckle the breast or pacifier?

— Parents need to be patient. The inflammatory process in the mouth - which means sleepless nights and a moody mood - reduces appetite. Any touch to the gums is accompanied by discomfort, so the baby does not want to suck. In such a situation, force-feeding is useless. But even if the child misses two or three feedings per day, nothing bad will happen, everything will get better soon. When he is very hungry, he will still take a breast or a bottle and be sure to eat.

- Restless baby is waiting for support - how to soothe itching, inflammation of the gums?

— Teeth do not appear before three months, and sometimes the “tooth festival” in the family is celebrated closer to the year. The task of parents is not to miss the moment when the tooth comes out in order to facilitate the process.


— Given with the appearance of the first incisor for scratching the outer side of the jaw. Itching subsides with the growth of teeth at the edges of the mouth. It is better to look for a wide pacifier (it is so convenient to get hard-to-reach places in the oral cavity) with a narrow limiter handle (does not interfere with the grip and does not allow the nipple to be swallowed too deeply).

Non-spill cup

— Teething is accompanied by strong salivation, therefore, to normalize the water balance, plenty of drinking is often given from a convenient drinking cup. Its spout is made of rubber, and the valve does not allow liquid to flow. In addition, convenient holders do not allow the bottle to slip out of the baby's hands. Children are delighted with such a “toy” and drink from a beautiful bottle with great zeal.

Pain reliever, gum gel

— Your doctor will tell you the best solution. A number of drugs to relieve inflammation and soothe the gums include lidocaine. But for them there is no clear dosage, and the baby can swallow the medicine. Therefore, when treating gums, when a tooth is cut, lidocaine can lead to intoxication of a small organism and cause serious undesirable consequences.

Rules for the use of gels for pain in teething syndrome:

  • at the first anxiety of the child, first a teether, drinking bowl are given, a circular massage of the gums is done from the wings of the nose to the corners of the mouth;
  • the remedy is used only with severe discomfort;
  • is applied in a thin layer up to 3-4 times a day with strict observance of the instructions;
  • manipulation is performed with a clean finger, accompanied by a circular massage;
  • it is preferable to lubricate the gums after feeding and at night;
  • Never let your baby chew on a tube of gel.

- Anastasia Anatolyevna, what to feed and how to feed a child when teeth are being cut - is it necessary to follow the schedule, give the baby water, warm food? And what is better to give the child: infant formula / puree soup / vegetable puree? Should I keep breastfeeding?

— When teeth are being cut, it is important to get away from a well-planned feeding schedule for a while. It is best to offer your baby breast or formula milk on demand. Everything will soon return to normal and return to the order that developed during life without teeth.

It is preferable not to force the baby to eat solid foods. It is better to cook liquid, mashed, light meals, and also not to introduce new complementary foods, not to give stale bread, cookies, in order to eliminate the risk of choking on crumbs. The temperature of the food should correspond to the temperature of the child's body, so as not to worsen the condition of the baby and he has not lost his desire to eat. With hyperthermia and salivation, it is advisable to give the baby water to drink.

— Do breast-fed and formula-fed babies equally tolerate toothache?

- It has been observed that breastfed babies tolerate the appearance of teeth more easily. Mother's breast is not only a source of complete and healthy food, but also a bioregulator of the emotional state, a way to calm down. Mothers whose babies literally “hang on their chests” observe that periods of prolonged feeding coincide with the appearance of dental tubercles.

You need to show increased attention to a bottle-fed baby - hold him on the arms more often, fall asleep with him, spend sleepless nights nearby - fortunately, the tooth completely crawls out in just 3-4 days (in the worst case, in a week).

- Does infant formula affect the baby in any way when teething?

- The best food for a newborn is, of course, breast milk. But there is no tragedy in transferring a child to artificial or mixed feeding, if it is really necessary. This decision is made by the mother together with the pediatrician.

Fortunately, there are now alternatives to breast milk, among them the MAMAKO ® Premium infant formulas. They have excellent composition, pleasant taste. One of their main advantages is the basis of goat's milk, which is closer in composition to breast milk than cow's. Features of the protein component of goat mixtures contribute to their easier digestion.

The eruption of the first teeth through the soft tender gums can cause the child's whims during feeding.

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